Rebels besieging the predominately Shiite towns of Fouaa and Kefrayya in the Idlib province of Syria carried out a suicide bombing against civilians that were expected to evacuate rebel territory in a deal negotiated with the Syrian government.
At least 70 civilians have been killed and more injured in the bombing with both numbers increasing as new reports are made public. The residents were aboard buses on the way to West Aleppo at the time of the suicide attack. In the aftermath of the attack, rebels refused to allow the injured civilians leave rebel territory and seek the urgent medical care they need. As a result of rebel malpractice, some are reporting the death toll has increased to more than 70.
Graphic photos and videos of the carnage are beginning to be released by observers on the ground and from State television sources.
Evacuation agreements that have applied to both civilians and rebel militia units have been a cornerstone of Syrian government policy. The measures intention is to build goodwill, reduce the number of battlefronts the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and allies are expected to fight on, and give some relief to civilians caught between opposing military forces have mostly been seen as a success.
The evacuation agreements that apply specifically to rebels (especially for those rebels that remain behind and are pardoned) have been controversial with some Syrians, but there has never been a case where the Syrian army attacked an outgoing rebel convoy.
The suicide bombing on civilians from Fouaa and Kefrayya, who were guaranteed a safe journey to government territory is sure to anger many. That anger is unlikely to rise to the level the Western world demonstrated in te aftermath of the recent sarin gas incident.